Political Animals
16 Hours

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B- | Grade It Now!
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Nuclear / Family

Doug and Susan are halfway through their bottle of wine and feeling more amicable. She assures him they're off the record now. He apologizes for his earlier outburst, even though he was totally right. He admits he did love some of her old writing, especially when it drove his father crazy. The conversation turns to mothers and how much Susan admired Elaine early on. Susan wistfully says her own mother didn't like her columns. An announcement over the speaker tells them they have to make a stop in Dallas to wait out a storm. This gives them time to finish more wine and for Susan to have another flashback. She shows off her new office to her mother, who is the awesome Blair Brown. Susan is so proud and eager for her mother's acceptance. On the surface, she's happy for her daughter, but Susan can hear the lack of enthusiasm. Susan presses her mother, who finally admits that she thinks her daughter is being unfair to Elaine Hammond. It quickly snowballs into her accusing Susan of using Elaine Hammond to get ahead and Susan kicking her mom out of her office. Will Smith was right. Parents just don't understand.

Elaine joins Bud at T.J.'s bedside. She pines for a drink. She's the Secretary of State and she's hanging out with the former POTUS. Surely there's someone who could scrounge them up some booze. Elaine's having a hard day. "I don't think I realized until today the kind of pressure you were under," she says, which seems kind of unlikely. Bud returns the understanding: "After spending the last 12 hours sitting over T.J., I could say the same thing to you." Elaine thinks T.J. wouldn't be here if they'd been as devoted to their family as they were to politics. "As soon as he started to go downhill in high school, I should have packed up and left D.C." Bud scoffs at first, but seems to give it more thought than perhaps he has in the past. He brings up Sean Reeves, because Elaine got so upset when he came up in conversation the night before. Elaine tells Bud the whole story from the affair to the blackmail that ended it.

Susan and Doug are stranded on a tarmac in Dallas, passing the time by drinking and going over each other's playlists. Susan laughs because Doug is apparently still a Backstreet Boys fan. He hilariously sings an excerpt. Susan thinks he should wear those tuxedo shorts to his wedding, which gives Doug a chance to snark about Anne being too perfect or whatever. Susan tells Doug about her ex-boyfriend having an affair with a coworker. She also tells him she had sex the last time she was on this plane. Doug, horrified, thinks Bud was involved, but she quickly corrects him.

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Political Animals

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